Sixth Grade Curriculum
Like all Middle School students, sixth graders are issued a Chromebook for use throughout the school day. Students follow a bell schedule and change classrooms each period enabling them to work with teachers who are focused in a single area of study.
In sixth grade we explore the Old Testament beginning with the creation story and concluding with the prophets. Students study Salvation History and work to understand and reflect on God’s divine plan. We also honor our early connection with Judaism by sharing a Seder meal and observing the holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.
LANGUAGE ARTS and READING
Sixth grade Language Arts and Reading classes are aligned with the Archdiocese of Chicago Benchmarks. Students are challenged to develop 21st century skills that will enable them to excel in the age of information. Students develop writing and speaking skills that allow them to respond to the world around them both critically and creatively. Reading helps them to understand their past and enables them to envision the future.
In Language Arts, students concentrate on identifying parts of speech and using proper grammar by diagramming sentences. We also focus on recognizing and developing figurative language, improving word choice, and knowing correct sentence construction. As these skills continue to develop, students are required to write narratives, poetry, expository, and argumentative essays.
Writing skills are also developed throughout the sixth grade Reading curriculum. In-class reading includes Holocaust-themed literature circles using Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot” by Michael O. Tunnell, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens studied alongside a Reader’s Theater version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick and The Giver by Lois Lowry. Additional reading materials include non-fiction short texts, short stories, poetry and the SRA Reading Laboratory. Students are required to read, reflect, and react through class discussions and written responses. Following the Common Core guidelines, an emphasis is placed on citing text evidence and expanding and explaining exact quotes in relation to the question. The written response is required, but whole class shared discussions also enable students to look at every reading from a variety of perspectives.
Big Ideas is our online math curriculum used in all sixth through eighth grade math classes. “Students master content through inductive reasoning opportunities, engaging activities that provide deeper understanding, concise stepped-out examples, rich thought-provoking exercises, and a continual building on what has been previously taught. Big Ideas Math delivers a unique and revolutionary curriculum providing a balanced instructional approach of discovery and direct instruction. This approach opens doors to abstract thought, reasoning, and inquiry as students persevere to answer the Essential Questions that drive instruction” (Big Ideas Learning, 2017).
Three leveled sixth grade classes focus on common core standards. The sixth grade curriculum includes ratio, proportions, operations of rational numbers, integers, solving expressions and equations, statistical thinking, and geometry.
All Middle School students receive a high quality, rigorous science education at St. Luke School. Our curriculum reflects the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards: Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. Study in these areas provide opportunities for continual hands-on experimentation; the application of mathematics; and collaboration, communication, and creativity. In sixth grade, students explore Chemistry and selected topics in Physics and Life Science. As part of their study, students are expected to complete a detailed experiment, formal research paper, and formal write up in an area of Life Science as preparation for participation in the Science Fair in seventh grade.
Sixth graders are students of World History. Beginning with Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, we then move through the histories of Egypt, India, and Ancient China. In the second trimester, we examine Ancient Greece and Rome. Finally, students finish the year with studies of the Middle Ages, Islam, and the Reformation/ Renaissance.
Please refer to the Specials/Fine Arts page to learn more about our sixth grade curriculum in the areas of Art, Music, Physical Education, Spanish, and Theology.